Nailing the bottom-up sales approach with Daniela Paredes, co-founder of Gravity Sketch.
Gravity Sketch is an intuitive 3D design platform for cross-disciplinary teams to create, collaborate, and review in an entirely new way. Utilising a variety of digital tools in Virtual Reality and supporting tablet applications, Gravity Sketch enables teams to create and review designs in real-time, in the same digital space. The team have just announced a $33M Series A round, whilst surpassing the 100,000 users mark, including product design teams at firms like Adidas, Reebok, Volkswagen and Ford. Launched in 2014, the team has seen impressive growth over the last 8 years, so as part of our High Growth Sales Strategy series, we caught up with Daniela Paredes, CXO at Gravity Sketch, to share some advice on scaling the bottom-up sales approach.
What is Gravity Sketch and how did the idea come about?
Gravity Sketch is a 3D design and collaboration platform that allows teams that design to communicate ideas directly in 3D. If you look around you, the world is built out of 3D objects, most of which undergo a design process that usually starts with a sketch, morphs into a digital 3D model and eventually gets manufactured. To get there designers, engineers, marketeers, and multiple other stakeholders need to be involved in the process and continuously solve problems to get the best results. This process is long and linear due to the multiple communication styles and tools each function uses. What we do in Gravity Sketch is enable an environment where people can speak around a 3D concept from the onset without the need of complex tools or skills, we essentially allow everyone to speak the same language and have. a much more collaborative process from the very beginning.
What are your most memorable growth moments?
I can think of two memorable growth moments. The first one when we first gave public access to Gravity Sketch, we thought the adoption was going to be slower given we were relying on a technology that was still making its way into the creative market (VR). However, we were solving something so important and in such a unique way that downloads just started to happen, not only that we began receiving thank you emails from the users and began developing really good relationships with most of them, we like to think we are all in this together, the team and our user base. The second one was when we opened up collaboration, before you would only be able to work solo inside of GS. This happened at the beginning of the pandemic, you can imagine how important it was for people to work together, design teams needed to be in the same space but couldn't, so we gave them another option, being together in the same virtual space. This skyrocketed adoption for teams to create but also for our team to be able to be there with the customers every single step of the way.
What sales model has been most effective for you and why?
We've found that having a bottom up approach has really worked for us. I could try to sound like there was a big strategy behind all of this, but in all honesty since the very beginning our users have been a very strong part of what we do. Design is not a nine to five job, which means our users continue creating and expressing themselves outside of work and this is where they find space to try new tools. Gravity Sketch happened to be one of those tools and happened to be so good that they ended up looking to bring it into their professional workflow.
How did you know when you were gaining initial traction?
We've had various indicators along the way. First users began sharing their work online, work that we never imagined was possible with Gravity Sketch. Then we started to hear users speak about Gravity Sketch as a tool that was truly making a difference in the world, plus the downloads began to accelerate. And ultimately when we began closing bigger and bigger deals with industry leading design teams in the likes of Adidas and Ford. And I know we still have a long way to go, even though these past few years we have seen incredible growth, I am sure we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg.
What do you wish you'd known at the beginning of your growth journey?
Wow, how long do you have? If I had to choose one thing it would be to not be precious about the product, the quicker you put it out there, the sooner you'll get feedback and improve.
What one piece of advice would you give to founders who are trying to make the bottom-up sales approach work for their business?
I would say that the key for bottom-up is to truly care about the individuals using your product, listen to them, develop relationships with them, get them to be the voice of your company, and celebrate them. If the community knows you truly care, they will be your biggest advocates. Also identify what it is that your users are looking to achieve individually and strengthen your efforts to solve that for them as much as you would try to solve it for your biggest customer, then figure out how the same product can have an impact at a larger scale and hone in on that.
Looking for more advice on scaling a bottom-up sales approach, check out our article How to unlock more sales: our take on high-growth sales models, here. Or if you're looking to to learn more about D2C sales, we caught up with Molly Hart, founder of HIGHR who shared her advice here.
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